Rights Watch | 17th April 2020

Rights Watch

Raped While Looking for Ration

A woman was allegedly raped by three men, Rashid, Dilawar and Shakhur who lured her with the promise of ration in Kokianwala, Faisalabad. The victim professed she was told to collect the ration from accused Rashid’s home. There, the victim was repeatedly assaulted by the three men, among whom Dilawar and Shakur were identified as acquaintances of her husband. The woman was then given some ration and money in order to force her to remain quiet about the ordeal before releasing her. An FIR has been registered and a search is underway for the accused.

Reporters Fined Despite Exemption

Journalists and media workers exempted from lockdown restrictions allege they are being fined by the police despite holding valid media cards. They also claim that the police is restricting their travel through thoroughfares and known routes. Media workers are stopped at barricades and forced to go by unsafe and unfamiliar roads.

Cases to be Heard Online

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has proposed using video conferencing applications such as Skype, Whatsapp and Telegram to conduct hearings in order to avoid the postponement of cases. The proposal was put forward by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, who in consultation with President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Syed Qalbe Hassan, assessed the extent of troubles faced by litigants, lawyers and judges.

The proposal came about during a hearing in which a petitioner alleged the respondents, whose counsel was 60 years old, were using the pretext of coronavirus fears to keep delaying the case. Justice Isa, who was hearing the case, although delayed the next hearing till May, suggested using video conferencing tools, subject to the approval of the Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, to avoid delays in proceedings.